"My, this art sure is friggin' mysterious. Ha ha. Because you were Frigga and I am Mysterio, you see. Ah, the path of genius is a solitary one."


"My, this art sure is friggin' mysterious. Ha ha. Because you were Frigga and I am Mysterio, you see. Ah, the path of genius is a solitary one."

VELVET BUZZSAW

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. MODERN ART GALLERY - MIAMI BEACH

PROFESSIONAL MODERN ART CRTIIC JAKE GYLLENHAAL smugs his way into an exhibition of MODERN ART, initiates a DOUBLE AUCTION of KRYPTO and now that we’ve got the inevitable REINER KNIZIA joke out of the way, let’s proceed with our merry tale.

ROBO-ART

HELLO I AM A FUTURISTIC ROBOT, I AM HERE TO CAST DOUBT AS TO WHETHER THIS IS SET IN THE FUTURE OR NOT

(foreshadows)

RENE RUSSO

Hey there Jake. I'm liking this new character of yours, it's got a real "C3P0-Jack-Sparrow transporter accident" vibe about it. Anyway, how's life?

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

(mugging rigidly)

Insufferable. You?

RENE RUSSO

Not bad, I'm enjoying the role of a ruthless art dealer. Plus I have this bitchin’ tattoo from my old punk band, Velvet Buzzsaw! That name narrowly beat out Cloth Shotgun and Cashmere Machete.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

Yep, you sure do have a buzzsaw blade drawn on your neck, all right. Now everybody forget that detail until the shock ending okay? To help you forget, we’ve made it the title of the movie.

RENE RUSSO

So what do you think of the exhibit? Have you seen Daveed Diggs's huge giant ball, by which I mean this five-foot-tall chrome sphere, obviously?

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

I did, but gave it a scathing, negative review since I was unable to stuff it ALL THE WAY up my own asshole. So amateurish.

Elsewhere at the gallery are TONI COLLETTE and JOHN MALKOVICH, greatly increasing the SEARCH ALGORITHM POWER of the film! At this point lowly intern ZAWE ASHTON arrives, holding a tray of coffee cups that are COMICALLY EMPTY even by MOVIE STANDARDS.

ZAWE ASHTON

Sorry Rene they didn't have the caramel-scented air, I had to get you almond vapour instead. Also I just learned my boyfriend is cheating on me so I could really use a good meaningless revenge-boink...

(spots Jake)

Why hello! Hm, beneath that gratingly precious exterior I see you still have a ripped physique hiding underneath. I know you’re supposed to be in a long-term gay relationship, but wanna fuck?

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

Well my character's sexuality is really more “is anyone literally fucking me at this exact moment” so sure!

They go back to ZAWE'S place where ZAWE guides JAKE'S hand towards her VAGINA as we hear an AIRPLANE LANDING SOUND before SMASH CUTTING to a literal PUSSYCAT, and we'll leave it to more qualified critics to untangle this labyrinthine nest of cryptic allusions.

INT. ZAWE'S APARTMENT BUILDING

The next day ZAWE notices the prone form of an ELDERLY MAN by the stairwell.

ZAWE ASHTON

Oh my, I should help! Holy shit this is the one and only decent action anybody in this movie does, and it’s the catalyst that dooms the entire fucking world.

Sadly, she is TOO LATE and the man is ALREADY DEAD!

ZAWE ASHTON

I suppose it would be unseemly to rummage through his shit. On the other hand I do live in Apartment 23 and I'm kind of a B, soooo guess it's your fault for being so trusting, Mr. Dead Guy!

The dead guy's apartment proves to be FULL of CREEPY ASS PAINTINGS that were clearly painted during his EVIL AS FUCK period.

EVIL ART

Hi there! Yes, our eyes move and we can set ourselves on fire, but don't worry about that. Worry instead about how you'll manage to cram all those zeroes into your bank account! They'll need to invent whole new words to describe that many pre-decimal, post-leading-integer zeroes! Mwah ha ha.

ZAWE ASHTON

I guess it would be okay to take a few select pieces, y'know, as a small memento of this poor soul I barely knew.

(rents bulldozer)

ZAWE teams up with RENE and JAKE to SELL the EVIL ART for STAGGERINGLY RIDICULOUS HEAPS OF CASH. Like, the dollar figures being thrown around are only MARGINALLY inflated from real life because the real-life modern art scene is FUCKING INSANE apparently.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

I'll use my vast influential critic powers to make sure everyone wants this art!

RENE RUSSO

And I'll use my vast influential "having Zawe under contract" powers to keep a chunk of cash for myself. Also I'm going to store a bunch of the Evil Art, so that we can keep squeezing millions from rich assholes who'd buy a dishrag covered in their own snot if I framed it.

EXT. CITY STREET, LATE THAT NIGHT

Gallery employee BILLY MAGNUSSEN has been charged with taking boxes of EVIL ART into storage. But, he is COMPELLED to try stealing some! BILLY stashes some boxes in his TRUCK and drives off...

BILLY MAGNUSSEN

Oh boy, these disturbing images will go GREAT next to my Momo sculpture. Now to celebrate by saying "Candyman" into my rear-view mirror five times.

(shirt catches fire)

OWW! I'm badly burnt, must find a hospital! Or abandoned gas station, that's just as good.

BILLY finds a SINK at the gas station and begins tending to his wounds, unaware that the MONKEY PAINTING above the sink is COMING TO LIIIIFE!

BILLY MAGNUSSEN

Oh shit, monkeys... trying to drag me... into painting! Must... escape!

(breaks free)

(attacked by poker-playing dogs)

FUUUCK

(flees)

(skewered by black velvet unicorn)

OUUUCH damn, am I really gonna get taken out by such bargain-basement--

(curbstomped by Rembrandt's Night Watch)

MUCH better thanks.

(dies)

INT. ANOTHER GALLERY IN MIAMI BEACH - THE NEXT DAY

Gallery owner TOM STURRIDGE interviews job applicant NATALIA DYER.

NATALIA DYER

I just got shitcanned by Rene Russo and I know you guys are HUGE rivals. Hire me and I'll give you ALL the dirt on her SO HARD. Yep, I'm willing to throw anyone under the bus to jump-start my career, and I'm also the "sympathetic" character in this movie.

TOM STURRIDGE

Well I am curious what Mick Jagger was REALLY like on the set of Freejack... okay you're hired. Now go fetch me a giant pyramid of empty coffee cups.

NATALIA sets out on her mission and TOM meets with a PRIVATE EYE.

PRIVATE EYE

So here's what I dug up about Dead Artist. He was in the Army, killed his abusive father, was sent to an asylum where he was a guinea pig for sinister medical experiments, the usual "one from column A, one from column B" stuff.

TOM STURRIDGE

Which neatly sets up our scifi-slash-supernatural murder spree. How X-Filesy is this movie gonna go anyway?

PRIVATE EYE

Well it also turns out Dead Artist used to work with Steven Williams who was LITERALLY Mr. X, so you tell me.

(leaves)

TOM STURRIDGE

Right. Guess it's time to add another victim to the pile. Let's see, which of my art pieces would be a good deathtrap... ooh how about my full-scale diorama of the trailer for "Sinister"? It's quite spooky.

EVIL ART

WORKS FOR ME

(kills Tom)

NATALIA DYER

(returning)

Yoiks!

(checks Tom's IMDB page)

Whelp, guess he wasn't Far from the MURDERING Crowd this time, eh? Ha ha. Yes, genius is a harsh mistress.

INT. JOHN MALKOVICH'S STUDIO

RENE has gone to see whether MALKOVICH has been making any decent art or just putzing around doing Netflix cameo roles.

JOHN MALKOVICH

I dunno about this Rene. I just don't feel like being gruesomely killed in a horror-comedy fashion right now, is it OK if I bail?

RENE RUSSO

Fuck it, sure. How about, you go to the beach and make some Art for Art's Sake which is the Very Best Art. It'll be a great message for our made-for-streaming commercial movie!

(winks)

INT. ART SCIENCE LAB

Meanwhile, JAKE talks to art scientist NITYA VIDYASAGAR about the EVIL ART.

NITYA VIDYASAGAR

While doing analysis of the Evil Art I found human tissue samples in the paint itself, along with hairs and bodily fluids. And before you ask, yes I already burned the one called "Golden Showers on Pillsbury's Icing".

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

So you're saying that "Study in Fudge #25" is... damn I was gonna keep that one. But how does the evil transfer itself to OTHER art that has no human tissue or DNA in it? How does it distinguish between a painting and a regular painted wall, for instance?

NITYA VIDYASAGAR

Well that's easily explained by HEY I WONDER WHAT TONI COLLETTE'S UP TO

INT. RENE'S GALLERY

As it happens, TONI is wandering the gallery late at night by herself, and meanders over to DAVEED DIGGS'S BIG GIANT STEEL BALL, by which we mean the sculpture referenced in the first scene.

TONI COLLETTE

According to the description, jamming your arm in one of the holes allows you to pass the Test of Manhood and join Prince Barin in the fight against Ming the Merciless. Eh, why not!

(inserts arm)

BIG CHROME BALL

HAHA I WAS THINKING LESS FLASH GORDON MORE SAW ACTUALLY

(shears off Toni's arm!)

TONI COLLETTE

Dammit, I have NOT been doing great at keeping myself in one piece lately!

(bleeds out)

(dies)

NATALIA DYER

(finds body)

Yeah I doubt this one's gonna snag an Oscar nomination either.

INT. RENE'S PLACE

Meanwhile JAKE has been cruelly dumped by ZAWE, who invoked a ONCE-AROUND AUCTION on DAVEED DIGGS and won handily using her YES PLEASE token. Following a traumatic episode of ACTUALLY DOING HIS JOB, JAKE learns about TONI and TOM and rushes distraught to see RENE.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

Don't you see Rene! Everyone who profits from the Evil Art gets killed! We could be next!

RENE RUSSO

Calm down Mulder, I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonably scientific explanation. You're really worried you'll die because you earned money from analyzing the Evil Art?

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

Yes! Look if I go FULL Nic Cage, THEN will you believe me?!?

(contorts face)

RENE RUSSO

But by that logic Nita Vidyasagar should die, since she also got paid to analyze the Evil Art.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

(calmer)

Huh, you're right. I guess if Nita doesn't die, then I should also not die. And since Nita is doing fine, I should be fine too! Thanks Rene!

(leaves, whistling)

WRITER/DIRECTOR DAN GILROY

D'oh. Y'know I was gonna keep working my way through the cast one by one, but fuck that, I got Kim's Convenience to watch. Death montage time!

At a party, ZAWE goes to her car and sees a wall of GRAFFITI magically open up into a spooky gallery!

ZAWE ASHTON

Ooh, I always love these little out-of-the-way pocket-dimension galleries. Let's see what

(dead)

Meanwhile, JAKE decides he should destroy his personal stash of EVIL ART just to be safe!!

JAKE GYLLENHAAL

Sorry, did you say "store them in my personal locker so I maintain ownership, and hence, liability"? Because I sort of did that instead.

ROBO-ART

DEAD OR ALIVE, YOU'RE COMING WITH ME. TO BE HONEST JUST THE FIRST SCENARIO APPLIES IN THIS CASE

(kills Jake)

NATALIA DYER

(finds body)

Yoiks! Now I'd buy THAT for a dollar!

EVIL ART

OH DO TELL

NATALIA DYER

No no I meant I'd buy Robo-Art, you can't murder me! This whole time I've only been paid with exposure and experience!

EVIL ART

YEAH THAT'S SOME BULLSHIT, OKAY YOU LIVE

Meanwhile RENE is almost smooshed by a falling SCULPTURE but has a lucky escape!

RENE RUSSO

Well Jake got a deathbot and Zawe got engulfed by supernatural paint, I'm not settling for something lame as "a heavy thing clocked me", c'mon.

EXT. RENE RUSSO'S HOUSE - THE NEXT DAY

RENE has brought in MOVERS to get rid of ALL THE ART.

RENE RUSSO

Yes, take it all away! It's evil and cursed and will murder ANYBODY who stands to make a profit off it... anybody at all... hm... hey, do you guys accept post-dated cheques? I'll just make this out for next week, should be plenty of time for all of you to get killed off... er I mean, if you wait to deposit this it'll be worth more! Because of, um, interest.

MOVER

Sure thing! But how are we defining "art" exactly? For instance, this coffee table has a weird gnarled-twig support which clearly places form FAR above function. And one could argue that the whole minimalist aesthetic that we're giving your house is, itself, an artistic statement such that the entire BUILDING becomes-

RENE RUSSO

YES YES IT'S ALL VERY NEBULOUS THANKS BYYYYEEEEE

RENE goes to unwind by sitting on her PATIO with her CAT.

RENE RUSSO

Ah, now that that's over with, I'm sure the very safest thing we could do is to perfectly re-create the image we saw in that one particular creepy painting.

BUZZSAW TATTOO

WELL I WAS GONNA KILL YOU REGARDLESS BUT OKAY KNOCK YOURSELF OUT

(buzzsaws Rene)

EXT. THE STREETS OF MIAMI BEACH

Meanwhile, NATALIA has at long last decided FUCK THIS SHIT and is taking a cab out of town... but notices that there are people selling the EVIL ART off the street!

NATALIA DYER

Ohmigod! Now the Evil Art will spread unchecked and infect all other art, everywhere! Our world is fucked! And oh shit, what if THIS MOVIE that I'm in right now, ALSO gets infected!! Then even OUR VIEWERS wouldn't be safe! My God, this might even be judged the MOST EVIL Art of all--

STEVEN SPIELBERG

Oh please, Netflix doesn't count.

END

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